Fantasy Waiver Wire Pickups – Week 12
With playoffs looming in the coming weeks, its time to build out the depth of your roster and look forward to the most exciting point in the fantasy season. With the loss of Burrow this week, as well as concerns with Mixon and McCaffrey’s returns, there are potential needs to fill going into the playoffs. Lets break down some serious options moving forward and see who might be available to fill any gaps, leading you to success.
RULES: These picks will be for players that are UNDER 40% rostered (ESPN Rankings) in standard leagues. These selections will not only be starting caliber players, but will also provide bench depth for the comings weeks. Reminder, these players will not always be for the respective week, we plan to look ahead a bit to beat the mass pickup as the player gains notoriety or favorable matchup. Any future projections will be noted in the body of the analysis.
QB: Kirk Cousins- MIN (29.3% Rostered)
In a perfect world, I would be plugging Taysom Hill into this available position, but with him TE eligible (for now) on ESPN Formats, he is well north of 80% ownership. If he is available, he is your guy. With a much lower ownership, Kirk Cousins is a good play for Week 12 and 13. Coming off an explosive Week 11 performance, Cousins went 22/30 for 314 yards and 3 TD versus an average Cowboys defense. In the coming weeks, Cousins takes on Carolina and Jacksonville, who respectively are giving up the 15th and 30th most fantasy points to opposing Quarterbacks. Look for big weeks from Cousins who has both Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen clicking on all cylinders.
RB: James White- NE (34.8% Rostered)
James White has been predominantly irrelevant this season with Cam Newton under center, which is much different than the past where Brady was leading the team. In 2018 and 2019, White and Michel were a tandem group that could not be stopped, but with Michel and now Burkhead down with injuries, the RB responsibilities will be relegated to James White and Damien Harris. White will be primarily in the utility back role and will handle the bulk of the pass catching options out of the backfield (Harris is unproven). With so much uncertainty in New England around the pass catchers, look for White to solidify his role in the offense in the coming weeks.
RB: Frank Gore- NYJ (13.2% Rostered)
Frank ‘The Ageless Wonder’ Gore seems as if he is going to be handling the rock for the Jets in the coming weeks. That statement should scare almost everyone away, but for those of you who bared with me, hear me out. La’Mical Perine went down in Week 11 with a high ankle sprain, and is almost certainly headed to the IR for a minimum of 3 weeks. With no other solidified backup options on the Jets roster, Gore seems to be the sold option to handle the majority of snaps. While this is concerning on all levels, please consider in the coming weeks, the Jets face Miami (23rd), Las Vegas (29th), and Seattle (14th) who have struggled vs. the running game, allowing an average of 19.0 fantasy points per game to the opposing running backs. Adam Gase seems to have an affinity to Gore, and with Darnold set to return to the offense, Gore should be a decent option both on the run and in the pass catching game.
WR: Jalen Reagor- PHI (34.2% Rostered)
While Reagor has had minimal on field time this season after dealing with a shoulder and hamstring injury, he should take the second half of the season by storm. During training camp, Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz had nothing but praise for Reagor, and thought highly of him and his potential production going into the 2020 season. Unfortunately, injury derailed the start of the season, and after missing 5 weeks, Reagor is quickly integrating himself into the barren Eagles defense. Over the last three games, Reagor has posted an 84.3% offensive snap count, the only Eagles receiver that was on the field more, was Travis Fulgham. With the loss of Ertz, and Alshon Jeffrey dealing with injury, Wentz will have to get Reagor more involved in the passing game, as the only two other options are Fulgham and Greg Ward. The Eagles take on Seattle in Week 12 who have a porous secondary, allowing the most fantasy points per game in the NFL to the opposing WR’s (32.6pts /game). Although Wentz has seemed like a liability as of lately, Reagor has been working his way into a cornerstone piece in the offense, and with a juicy matchup vs. the Seahawks, its worth taking the chance to capitalize on production.
WR: Michael Pittman Jr.- IND (25.7% Rostered)
By far, Pittman is the most talented receiver on the Colts roster. Unfortunately, Pittman suffered compartment leg syndrome in his calf, forcing immediate surgery, causing the rookie from USC to miss 4 weeks in the middle of the season. Pascal and Hilton are the only other receiving options for Rivers, and both of them have concerns around them in the offense. Over the last 3 weeks, Pittman is seeing the field on 83% of offensive snaps, and has totaled 223 yards and 1 TD. In the coming weeks, the Colts face Tennessee (19th), Houston (x2) (26th), and Las Vegas (18th), who have struggled against opposing WR’s, and have given up on average 24.3 fantasy points per game to opposing WR’s. Based on sheer matchup alone, look for the Colts to get the rookie involved to build on the direction of their organizations future.
TE: Dalton Schultz- DAL (34.3% Rostered)
Dallas Tight Ends have been a sore spot in many fantasy rosters due to the loss of Blake Jarwin in the early portion of the season, but over the last few games, Schultz has been performing well. Although he does have a bit of touchdown dependency due to the amount of larger pass catching options on the roster (Lamb, Cooper, and Gallup), there is always a red zone target or two that will need to end with a big body jump ball. In Week 11, Schultz had 4 receptions for 25 yards and 1 TD, and while not overly impressive Washington is ranked 20th against opposing TE and is allowing an average of 8.6 points per game. Although this isn’t overwhelmingly impressive, considering the TE landscape this season, 8.6 points on average is much higher than the field of other potential TE options in waivers.
Streaming DEF: New York Giants (21.6% Rostered) vs. CIN
Although the New York Giants have been relatively bad this season (3-7) and their offense has been desolate with the loss of Saquon Barkley and the underperformance of Daniel Jones, their defense has been playing well. Although 3-7 isn’t a great shining record, if you look at the margin losses, their defenses have been able to keep them in tight competition. Going into Week 12, the Giants are taking on the Bengals, with Ryan Finley at the helm. With Burrow going down with ACL tear, MCL tear, and structural damage, and the loss of Joe Mixon to IR, the Bengals are missing all the necessary pieces to succeed. With Finley under center, the likeliness of the WR room being involved is slim; this should be a defensive showing for the Giants. New York has been able to put up decent fantasy numbers vs. the Washington Football Team (14.0 & 15.0), Dallas (11.0), and Chicago (10.0), the defense should be able to shine in an easy matchup.
Let me know your thoughts! Reach out on twitter at @AJAudet80 for discussion on the fantasy selections above. Any questions on your fantasy lineups, trades, or additional waivers pickups, hit me on twitter for advice! I look forward to hearing from you and working to build a strong fantasy community.